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K00795 Summary:

MLTSPNSRBarron, Braunstein, Buttenschon, Cook, Crespo, Cruz, DeStefano, Englebright, Fall, Fitzpatrick, Galef, Giglio, Glick, Gottfried, Griffin, Gunther, Hyndman, Jaffee, Johns, Lavine, Lawrence, Lupardo, Manktelow, McDonald, McDonough, Miller B, Miller MG, Morinello, Mosley, Nolan, Norris, Ortiz, Perry, Pheffer Amato, Sayegh, Seawright, Simon, Smullen, Tague, Taylor, Thiele, Wright
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K00795 Memo:

Memo not available
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K00795 Text:

Assembly Resolution No. 795
BY: M. of A. Aubry
        CELEBRATING  the life and accomplishments of James
        E. Heath, gifted  musician,  prolific  composer  and
        arranger, and influential educator
  WHEREAS,  It  is the sense of this Legislative Body to honor and pay
just tribute to those musical geniuses  whose  commitment  and  creative
talents  contributed  to  the  entertainment  and cultural enrichment of
their community and the entire State of New York; and
  WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is moved this day to memorialize  the
purposeful  life and career of James E. Heath, a prominent figure in the
history of jazz music, who  died  in  Loganville,  Georgia,  on  Sunday,
January 19, 2020, at the age of 93; and
  WHEREAS,  James  Edward  Heath  was  born to clarinetist, Percy, and
singer,  Arlethia  Heath  on  October   25,   1926,   in   Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania;  following in his parent's footsteps, he began playing the
alto saxophone at the young age of 14; and
  WHEREAS, James E. Heath soon became a prominent fixture in the  jazz
circles  of late 1940s Philadelphia, and was nicknamed "Little Bird" for
his small stature and as a nod to  his  mentor,  bebop  pioneer  Charlie
"Bird" Parker; and
  WHEREAS, During this time, James E. Heath taught himself to read and
compose  music, and before long, he was creating melodies for a 16-piece
band of his own; and
  WHEREAS, At the age of 22, James E. Heath moved  to  New  York,  and
reinvented  his  sound  by  switching  to  the  tenor saxophone, thereby
producing a deeper, richer sound; and
  WHEREAS, Just as his career began to flourish, James E.  Heath  went
through  a  period  of  great turmoil in the mid-1950s; after overcoming
much adversity, he married the former  Mona  Brown,  and  together,  the
couple moved to Corona, Queens; and
  WHEREAS,  With  a renewed purpose, James E. Heath did some freelance
arranging  work,  released  six  albums  on  the  Riverside  label,  and
eventually became a staff arranger for the record company; and
  WHEREAS,  In  1964,  James E. Heath took a departure from recording,
and became a founding faculty  member  of  Jazzmobile,  an  organization
which  presented  concerts  and  classes  to young people in Harlem, New
York; and
  WHEREAS, Ten years later, James E. Heath and his brothers, Percy and
Albert "Tootie" formed the Heath Brothers, and later, received a  Grammy
nomination for its album Live at the Public Theater; and
  WHEREAS,  During the 1980s, James E. Heath wrote and composed music,
developed a graduate program of jazz  studies  at  Queens  College,  and
organized and led the annual Queens Jazz Orchestra Concert for 12 years;
  WHEREAS,  In  later  years,  James  E.  Heath  wrote,  arranged  and
performed as a soloist on Little Man, Big Band,  and  appeared  on  more
than 100 recordings; and
  WHEREAS,  In  2006,  a  documentary  about  James  E.  Heath and his
brothers, "Brotherly Jazz," was  released,  and  four  years  later,  he
published his autobiography, "I Walked With Giants"; and
  WHEREAS,  For  his profound impact in the progression of jazz music,
James E. Heath was  the  recipient  of  numerous  awards  and  accolades
including  the  Lifetime  Achievement  Award from the Jazz Foundation of
America; he also received  an  honorary  doctorate  in  music  from  the
Julliard  School  of  Music,  was  nominated  for  two additional Grammy
awards, and was  named  the  2003  American  Jazz  Master  by  the  Jazz
Foundation of America; and
  WHEREAS,  Predeceased  by  his son, Jeffrey, and his brother, Percy,
James E. Heath is survived by his wife of almost  60  years,  Mona;  one
son,  James  Mtume;  one  daughter,  Roslyn Heath-Cammorto; one brother,
Albert Heath; seven grandchildren,  and  seven  great-grandchildren;  as
well as numerous fans, fellow musicians, and jazz lovers from across the
globe; and
  WHEREAS,   An  inspiration  to  many,  it  is  the  intent  of  this
Legislative Body to inscribe upon its records this loving tribute to the
memory of jazz music legend James E. Heath, that future generations  may
know  and  appreciate  his  extraordinary and innovative career, and the
respect and esteem in which he was held; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its  deliberations  to
celebrate  the  life  and  accomplishments  of  James  E.  Heath, gifted
musician, prolific composer and arranger, and influential educator;  and
be it further
  RESOLVED,  That  a  copy  of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of James E. Heath.
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